Monday, April 13, 2020

Home Ministry directs States / UTs for strict implementation of lockdown

Chief Secretary directs for strict compliance of guidelines of MHA

 Port Blair, Apr 13: The Home Ministry, Govt. of India, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, has directed States/UTs to take effective measures so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country which has already been declared pandemic by the World Health Organization. The Ministry has also asked the States/UTs for implementation of the lockdown guidelines in letter and spirit and also to maintain the supply of essential goods in the country.
    In a letter addressed to the Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories on April 12, 2020, the Home Secretary, Govt. of India, Shri Ajay Bhalla has reiterated for strict observance by the authorities at various levels of guidelines and clarifications by the MHA on 24th March, 2020 and clarifications issued subsequently.
    With a view to brining in clarity at the implementation level, the Home Secretary has reiterated the following for strict observance by the authorities at various levels:
i.        Inter-state and intra-state movement of all trucks and other goods / carrier vehicles with one driver and one additional person is allowed as long as the driver is carrying a valid driver's license. This is irrespective of the nature of the cargo, whether essential or otherwise. No further permit or approval would be required.
ii.       Empty trucks/ goods carriers should also be allowed to operate while on way to pick up goods, or returning after completing a delivery. Hence, there is no cause to stop empty trucks provided they have valid documents such as driving license & road permit etc.
iii.     Local authorities should actively facilitate the movement of truck drivers and cleaners from their place of residence to location of their trucks.
iv.      Local authorities should facilitate the easy to and fro movement of workers to workplace and back, in respect of all the permitted industrial/ commercial activities.
v.      Railways, Airports, Seaports, and Customs authorities have already been authorized to issue passes for their staff and contractual labour. This may be ensured.
vi.     Regarding issuance of passes to workers engaged in the manufacturing of permitted categories, the State/ UT Governments are advised to expeditiously issue passes on the basis of authorizations issued by companies/ organizations. The State/ UT Governments shall ensure that these passes are honored both for movement within their State/ UT and in bordering areas of other States/ UTs.
vii.       MSMEs engaged in the manufacture of essential items like wheat flour (atta), pulses (dal) and edible oils should be allowed to function freely, without any hindrances.
viii.    Warehouses/ cold storage should be allowed to freely function with allowance for to and fro movement of trucks and without regard to the nature of the goods whether essential or otherwise. Warehouses of companies should also be allowed to operate.
   Consequent upon this, the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Chetan B. Sanghi has ordered that the guidelines and clarifications issued by the MHA shall be applicable in the whole of UT of A&N Islands with immediate effect. The instructions issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs should be fully complied with, the order to this effect issued by the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration said.

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